Mavericks surfers are titans. They are strong; they are brave; they are the real deal. Two women, in particular, are pushing the limits of female athletics by surfing the most challenging and dangerous big wave spot on the planet. Savannah Shaughnessy and Sarah Gerhardt are local Mavericks chargers from nearby Santa Cruz, not only making a name for themselves in the big wave lineup, but also opening opportunities for women in sport.
Join us this week for a very special Off the Lip Radio Show with our guests, Savannah Shaughnessy and Sarah Gerhardt, the Mavericks women who daringly surf the world’s most dangerous wave.
Call in with your questions Tuesday, October 14th from 7-8 PM PST for Off the Lip Radio Show on KSCO 1080AM local radio, or watch live from the studio right here on TheSurfChannel.com :
Call in to ask questions from 7-8 PM PST, Tuesday nights: 1-831-479-1080
Titans of Mavericks, the official big wave surfing event, festival and lifestyle brand in Northern California, hosts an official competition window at Mavericks from January 1st – March 31st each season. This year’s new selection process announced a Round 1 draw of 56 surfers that were considered as worthy competitors. Both Savannah and Sarah were included on that list.
Furthermore, they were not separated from the men to compete in a ‘women’s heat’, but rather considered to paddle out alongside the men, as they do during a typical Mavericks swell – for better or for worse. Yet for this particular surf session, there will be prize money involved and millions of people watching…
Santa Cruz native, Savannah Shaughnessy, is the only female big wave surfer selected for the Titans of Mavericks competition’s Round 2 draw. In 2012, Savannah was nominated for the Billabong XXL “Girls Performance of the Year” Award. She later became the first woman to judge a Big Wave World Tour competition at the Mavericks Invitational on January 24th, 2014.
“It’s a rare double for any big wave surfer, but particularly for a woman,” reported the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Her courage in the lineup and dedication to surfing Mavericks has earned Savannah respect amongst the big wave elite, both men and women.
Savannah went on to compete in the second-ever full women’s heat at the BWWT Nelscott Reef event, Dive N’ Surf Oregon Pro, in Lincoln City.
Sarah was the first woman to surf Mavericks on February 26th, 1999. Then, she broke a new record as the first female stand-up paddler to ride Mavs, and also the first woman to tow-in. Easy to say, Sarah is leading the charge and an incredibly strong individual.
“Sarah is a pioneer, surfing one of the largest waves in the world. Not only that, she is a scientist with a PhD.” Watch this clip from One Winter Story, the story of Sarah Gerhardt:
Film directed/produced by Sally Lundburg and Elizabeth Pepin | FrankFilms808
The raw power of Mavericks goes unmatched. Endless challenges of the cold water surf break pose real consequences to even the strongest and most prepared athlete. Northern California’s gem has taken the lives of legendary Hawaiian watermen — Mark Foo in 1994, and Sion Milosky in 2011 – dearly missed, and never forgotten, causing many big wave surfers to take a step back before risking their own lives to face Mother Nature at her most ferocious deep water state.
A maverick is commonly defined as an “independent individual who does not go along with the group.” Mavericks women fit the description accordingly.
Off the Lip Radio Show features legendary surfers and skateboarders in their Santa Cruz, California studio. You can listen in on KSCO 1080AM radio in the Bay Area every Tuesday evening starting from 7PM PST. Now, you can watch the YouTube Live stream from inside the studio right here on TheSurfChannel.com!